In one of the year’s most offensive animated features, Michael Jackson’s Halloween brings a mix of tunes from the King of Pop’s catalog while trying to infuse some semblance of a plot.
Vincent (Lucas Till, MacGyver) is the son of a grocery store owner, deemed to one day take over the business but really aspiring to be a DJ. Victoria (Kiersey Clemons, Neighbors 2) is an intern for a corporation literally trying to get a job as “a cog in the machine” while suppressing her passion for dance. Our hero and heroine cross paths and end up at 777 Jackson Street (I know…) where they meet a motley crew of characters (including a chimpanzee named after real-life pet Bubbles) while figuring out how to stop an evil witch named Conformity. To go on any further would be futile.
Produced in conjunction with Michael Jackson’s estate, the entire special feels out of place and cheap, from the animation and attempt to squeeze as many songs in as possible to the too-good-for-this-its-criminal voice cast. Till, Christine Baranski, Lucy Liu, George Eads, Alan Cumming, and Brad Garrett are all either current or previous CBS show cast members and I kept wondering if there was something in their contracts requiring them to do a holiday special in between breaks in filming.
The fact that the story is an insult to even the youngest audiences with not one memorable (in a good way) character proves that this is far from anything that the late Mr. Jackson would have wanted on screen. For those wanting to get a better sense of Mr. Jackson’s spooky vision, try the 1996 short film Michael Jackson’s Ghosts instead. As for Halloween? A new classic this most certainly is not.